Keller Finds Right Culture at RedRover

Friday, June 7, 2013

By Andy Meek

Catherine “Kitty” Keller is one of the newest members of the team at RedRover Sales & Marketing, and her addition comes at a time of a steady swelling of the ranks, a recent batch of awards and consistent business growth for the firm.

Keller, who relocated with her husband – a Rhodes College professor – to Memphis in 2008, is an account executive and lead public relations strategist for RedRover. She comes to the firm from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where she worked for several years, part of her decade of experience as a strategic communicator.

At the chamber, Keller was the communications director for the Chamber Foundation’s Business Civic Leadership Center.

RedRover CEO and founder Lori Turner-Wilson – whose column “Guerrilla Sales & Marketing” appears weekly in The Daily News – praised the “wealth of experience” Keller brings to the firm. Keller started her career at a Washington public affairs firm before working for the chamber.

She continued to work for the chamber after arriving in Memphis via telecommuting. Along the way, her PR tactics have garnered coverage in The Huffington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Fast Company, and daily papers and business journals across the country.

One of the things she has loved about living in Memphis for the past five years, compared to the bustle of the nation’s capital, is that here “there’s more to life than how you spend your workday.” To that end, her community involvement has included serving as a marketing committee member of the Downtown Memphis Farmers Market and as a founding steering committee member of GiVE 365 at the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis.

“Living on the Eastern Seaboard, I knew one day I’d leave D.C.,” Keller said. “My husband was offered a job in Memphis, and I came here knowing the time was right for me. I’ve found it easy to build a social and professional network here.

“I found the job through LinkedIn, and Lori and RedRover do a great job with their digital marketing. I loved the fact it was a women-owned business, and I could tell the philosophy and culture would be a great fit.”

Keller said the coaching and sales division work that RedRover does looked incredibly attractive to her, compared to other large organizations she’s seen that don’t take as comprehensive an approach to similar work. RedRover, to her, has a philosophy that involves looking at multiple sides of a client’s business.

That philosophy includes serving as more than just a PR shop. RedRover touts its sales division as a differentiator, meaning the firm can help strategize and consult with clients from a variety of perspectives. To that end, in fact, the firm recently started offering a series of sales training workshops for businesses and community organizations.

In a similar vein, Keller views her job as much more than the often one-size-fits-all label of PR. As a strategic communicator, the job does encompass PR but also a myriad of other responsibilities like writing, public speaking, strategizing and understanding a brand, to name a few.

“Kitty brings to the RedRover team a wealth of experience from her time at the U.S. Chamber in both national media relations and corporate communications,” Turner-Wilson said. “As such, she is leading our firm’s PR efforts – both locally and nationally – in addition to allowing us to add a new corporate crisis communication service line to the RedRover offering. We continue to grow thm by adding highly talented seasoned veterans, like Kitty, to our pack.”

The growth – and, more specifically, the culture that’s come with it – has not gone unrecognized. RedRover recently took home four international awards as part of the 2013 Communicator Awards, which bills itself as among the largest and most competitive awards program honoring the creative excellence for communications professionals.

RedRover picked up three Awards of Distinction for its work for clients Thomas & Betts Corp., DreamCatcher Hotels and The MED Foundation. The firm also earned an Award of Excellence for its own newly designed website.

In addition to Keller, the company’s other recent hires include Ty Skinner. Skinner has been promoted to director of client service on the sales side of the house, and she’s also helping take the firm’s portfolio to a new level by offering the training workshops.